Just Got a New Generator

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
Ran a whole house outage scenario this morning. Turned off the a/c, cut over to the Anker F3800. Everything turned on smooth, showing about 1500 watts draw. Much of the house was active, two attic fans, dehumidifier, water heater, fridges (although I don't know if any of the fridges were running at the time), and all the normal electronics. With a 1500 watt load, it showed about 2.25 hours until the battery ran out.

Turned off the water heater and dehumidifier, usage dropped to about 1100 watts. Turned on the a/c. Brownout, buzz, and the a/c quit, rest of the house was normal. The F3800 did struggle, but it was the a/c that pulled it's own plug and shut down, not the F3800. Returned everything to normal and grid power, took the a/c about 5 minutes to kick back on. Had me concerned for a few minutes, thought I blew it up, and today is not a day to be without a/c.

The a/c is a Goodman 14 SEER 4 ton installed Aug 2018. I'm going to check with the installer to see if a soft start device would be ok.

For the moment, using the battery backup with an automatic transfer switch in the summer is not a good idea. Manual cutover only after turning off the a/c. In the winter, should be fine.

One more note: I had the monitor app on my tablet set up to use WiFi. When the power goes out, no WiFi, and it take a while for the StarLink to reboot. Installed a bluetooth only version on my phone so I could see what was going on.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
For the moment, using the battery backup with an automatic transfer switch in the summer is not a good idea.
Oh wait.... just remembered that the automatic transfer switch is connected to a sub-panel with all the critical circuits. I just leave high draw loads on the main panel, so if the ATS kicks in, they won't be powered. If I need the a/c, I can plug the 9000w genny into the backup plug and run that while simultaneously charging the battery backup.
 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
The a/c is a Goodman 14 SEER 4 ton installed Aug 2018. I'm going to check with the installer to see if a soft start device would be ok.
Uh, you may really want to check on that. Mother in law had a 14 SEER 4 Ton AMANA installed in (checks notes) August of 2018 and the installer came back 2 years later and said they were supposed to include a hard start with the installation (per manufacturer). Guess which company rebrands their products as Amana?
 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
soft start?
HARD.
Goodman 5-2-1 Compressor Saver — CSRU3

The only real soft-starters I have heard of are for very large commercial motors, MUCH larger than what's in a residential HVAC system.

Two minutes of googling tells me there is a market for smaller ones, specifically to run stuff like RV air conditioners off of a solar generator (maybe that's where you picked up the term) but that's not what is called out for that heat pump or what is generally installed in residential HVAC systems.
 

Sneakers

Just sneakin' around....
The most widely used is the Easy Start, and the manufacturer calls it a soft start. Of all the devices I've looked at for home use, I have yet to see one called a hard start.

 

Clem72

Well-Known Member
The most widely used is the Easy Start, and the manufacturer calls it a soft start. Of all the devices I've looked at for home use, I have yet to see one called a hard start.

Yeah I looked, sounds like it's viable if your compressor isn't VFD (and yours isn't).

That said, I asked my buddy (actual electrician and HVAC tech, though not an EE) and he said they are almost never required except for people who try to run their heat pumps off an inverter (solar) or under powered generator.

He said they work fine for that application, but it's very unlikely to extend the life of your compressor in your heat pump. The compressors do most often die from overheating, but not generally from hard starts but rather being run full of crud in direct sun or with too high voltage, etc.

Anyways, if your application is trying to run the heat pump from your solar generator then a soft start kit would probably work well, and it should also remedy the issue that has the manufacturer recommending a hard start kit. He also said stay far away from the Chinese made ones that include a fan (they include because the cheap electronics overheat and need it), and the best one in his opinion is the Eltwin Hyper SureStart.
 
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